KTM continues its pattern of acquisitions, with news that it now has a 60 per cent share of GasGas.
The deal is wrapped in nebulous terms (sort of a “KTM’s ownership group has announced a partnership with the GasGas ownership group”). That’s partly because that’s just how big business works, partly because KTM has to be careful not to run afoul of the EU’s anti-trust regulators, and partly because GasGas employees let their feelings be known about this move back in 2015.
Back then, when GasGas was in financial trouble, and KTM was reportedly interested in buying the company out, GasGas workers hung an effigy from the window, branded with KTM’s name. Not surprisingly, the deal was called off.
GasGas has a history of working around shaky financials; in 2014, GasGas and OSSA merged, to help work out money woes, and GasGas’s founding in the 1980s came after former Bultaco employees decided they’d try a new venture, after their previous employer went out of business.
These days, GasGas sells supermotos, enduros and trials bikes, for both adults and children. The enduros are street-legal in some markets. Most GasGas machines are made in Catalonia, Spain. You can see the current line of machines at the GasGas website.
Depending what market you’re in, you may or may not be able to see GasGas’s line of electric bikes at the website. Supposedly, those electric machines are KTM’s main interest in this deal; it’s hard to imagine with its current fold of marques (KTM’s parent company also controls Husaberg and Husqvarna), that the bigwigs really needed GasGas’s petrol-powered tech, or to put them out of business to achieve market dominance.